The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has fined Caesars Interactive $15,000 for allowing self-excluded gamblers to create accounts and bet online.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) offers compulsive gamblers to opportunity to
opt out of Internet gambling activity for one or five years by providing a self-exclusion register on its website.
The self-exclusion register is confidential, but details of players who self-exclude themselves from online gambling are distributed to casinos and Internet gaming license permit holders. Casinos then have the option of banning the player from its brick-and-mortar venues for the length of the exclusion.
While the player remains on the self-exclusion register, online gambling operators are not allowed to send them promotional material or solicit them to gamble. However Caesars Interactive – best known for its WSOP.com brands and Caesars Palace online casino brands – not only sent out promotional materials to 231 self-excluded gamblers, but allowed five of them to bet online.
Caesars Put their Hands Up
According to information made public on the NJDGE website, Caesars Interactive realized the mistake earlier this year and informed the gambling regulator voluntarily. The NJDGE issued Caesars Interactive with a fine of $15,000 – little more than a slap on the wrist for one of the world´s largest gambling organizations.
Accepting his punishment like a man, Seth Palansky – the VP of Corporate Communications for Caesars Interactive – said:
We self-reported this error to the DGE after we were notified by our third-party provider a lapse in procedure occurred. We regret the error, and apologize to those affected by it. We accept the punishment and will work more diligently to avoid a repeat mistake.
Not the First Time Caesars Has Been in Trouble
The $15,000 fine from the NJDGE follows two previous fines issued last year. The first of those fines was $3,000 in May 2014 for the company failing to include the required “1-800-GAMBLER” gambling helpline number on billboards advertising online gambling.
The second fine ($10,000) was imposed by the NJDGE for emailing promotional to more than 250 self-excluded gamblers during a three month period between February 16 and May 28, 2014. Again the breach in New Jersey´s online gambling regulations was brought to the NJDGE´s attention by Caesars Interactive and, again, Mr. Palansky was equally contrite.
The issue that caused our system to inadvertently target these patrons has been fixed and we have had no incidents since. We can assure the public that this lapse on our part was not an intentional targeting of these patrons, but simply a back-end software issue that failed to properly scrub our database before certain mailings. We regret the harm this incident may have caused.
Those slaps on the wrist might start to smart soon!